Back To Touring!

26th April 2022

Season 22/23… here we come! 

“I love working for Best Scottish Tours, because it never feels like we are running ‘tick-box tours’. We help people create their own story of Scotland. Best Scottish Tours is a family and by the end of each trip, I feel like our tour groups become a family too" - Terry, Driver Guide

We are very excited to have recently launched our new 2022 season of touring in Scotland. All COVID-19 restrictions have now been lifted in Scotland, meaning we are free to roam our lands and enjoy our country to its fullest. Of course, we will still take every measure necessary to keep our guests safe (more information on that below) but we are very grateful that things are getting back to normal.

The pandemic has led to a few permanent changes, but a lot of these are actually very welcome. The main one affecting our tours is that we now have to book some of the attractions, such as castles, in advance. This is common in other countries who have been implementing good tourism management strategies for years. We now know that attractions won’t be too busy when we arrive, making it easier to get a lovely family photo without anyone else creeping into the shot!

Terry, Best Scottish Tours
Terry enjoying a Whisky Tour

“Scotland is a wonderful country to visit. It has so much to offer - grand castles, majestic landscapes, rugged coastlines, fascinating island groups and intriguing history. I can’t wait to get back out there!” - Matt, Driver Guide

In 2021 we were fortunate enough to run some tours for both UK based guests and international guests, from places such as the USA. While it was still a nervous time, all the tours went very well. We had no issues relating to COVID (or anything else!). All of our guests enjoyed their time away in the magical Scottish Highlands and our Driver’s loved being on the road again, particularly Driver Guide David;

“When you hit the M8 out from Edinburgh with all the guests collected…FREEDOM!”

Sadly, many small tour operators have been unable to maintain their business through the difficulties of the past few years. It has been tough to watch so many in our industry struggle. We are grateful that Best Scottish Tours has been able to weather the storm. We have retained all of our staff, vehicles and services. Therefore, we can assure you that you can have every confidence in booking a tour with us. We have a full season ahead and we are eager to see our business continue to grow in years to come.

“I can’t wait to get back out there and see Scotland again - it is ever changing! I am excited for the challenge of a new tour - the changing weather and roads; making sure guests are having a great time; and never being able to see a Highland Cow in the same place!!” - Chris, Driver Guide

Duncan, Small Group Tours
Duncan and guests at the Highlands Games

Our Wonderful Drivers

I am sure you are extremely excited about your vacation in Scotland… but are you as excited as our Driver Guides? It is definitely a close call!

Our Driver Guides really are the heart of our business - a, laid back group of Scots who are full of fun and love nothing more than hitting the open road with an abundance of historic tales they can’t wait to share! Our Drivers pride themselves in getting to know their guests on each tour and they are champing at the bit to get back on the road. 

“I long to see once more all of the wondrous sites our wee country has to offer!” - Paul, Driver Guide

Our Drivers make sure everyone gets the opportunity to experience the things that matter to them. Everyone has reasons why they want to visit Scotland, it’s just about finding out their story. For some, it’s family heritage, for others it's hearing unforgettable tales about the history of Scotland. Some have just seen so many great photos on social media, they knew they had to get themselves here!

“I am really keen on my photography so I'm looking forward to taking some cracking shots in the faraway corners of Scotland” - Peter, Driver Guide

Our guest’s reasons for visiting Scotland can be quite emotional, perhaps it is a way of re-connecting with a loved one who is no longer with us. Our Drivers are always respectful to those for whom a vacation to Scotland is really so much more than a vacation. Whatever our client’s story, we know that we are extremely privileged to be witness to it. It is one of the reasons out tours are so special; we know just how much they can mean to our clients.

“I’m looking forward to getting out again as the wonder I see in the eyes of my guests, makes me appreciate my country even more. I also enjoy having meals with the guests, I’ll sometimes join them for breakfast while they are discussing the itinerary for the day ahead. I’ll figure out what the group wants to achieve for that day. If I join them for lunch or an evening meal, it means I can help explain the traditional Scottish menu!” - Terry

Peter, Scottish Vacation
Peter and guests on tour

Where should you visit this season?

Scotland is fully opened up and ready to go, so that means you have plenty of choice. With so many beautiful and fascinating places to see, it can be tough to figure out the best itinerary. Everyone will have a different opinion on this, but we can help you find the tour that is right for you. 

I would recommend that you get in touch with our team and let them know your ‘must do’ places as well as your areas of interest. Maybe you want to learn more about the great battles of the Scottish Wars of Independence, or perhaps the history of our idyllic rural villages is more your thing? Some of you will want to breath in the fresh, brisk air on a walk along our dreamy white sandy beaches. Others will want to visit as many castles as they can. Our team can recommend the best tour route to meet your needs or we can create a custom tour, just for you.

In need of a little inspiration to get you started? Here are the places our drivers recommend:

“For me it’s a split between the Western Isles and Orkney again. Love them both” - Terry

“I would agree with Terry! Both are stunning and I can’t wait to get back and see what’s been going on over the last couple of years. The Orkney Islands are a very special place which you can feel when making the crossing over the Pentland Firth” - George

“My absolute favourite spots to tour have to be…
- The West Coast, the Isle of Mull is braw!
- The Central Highlands with the amazing scenery around Royal Deeside
- Arran will be making a comeback soon. It’s been quite a while since we’ve had it on itineraries. We went there with guests last September and it was superb” - Matt

Personally, I love wandering through the Caledonian pine forests of the Cairngorms and driving through Glen Affric in Inverness-shire.

Dog on Orkney Beach
Our wee dug Bruno enjoying an Orkney beach

Safety

What is the one thing that helps you feel really excited about a vacation? Feeling relaxed and worry free! We know that safety is of the utmost important, more now than ever. While legal restrictions have now been lifted in Scotland, mask wearing in busy settings is still advised and if you would feel more comfortable wearing a mask, please do. Some restaurants and attractions will still have signs asking you to wear them, as many people in Scotland are still nervous about spreading COVID-19. We just want to keep everyone safe, so hopefully this is a reassurance. 

Our strict cleaning procedures for our vehicles have not changed. We will thoroughly clean our vehicles with a strong disinfectant fog machine between every tour. Our Drivers also clean the vans regularly throughout the tour.

Our vans hold a maximum of 8 people, so you will never travel in a large group. We also have private and bubble tours available where you will only travel in your family/friend group along with your Driver Guide. If you book a ‘Bubble Tour’ we can also pick you up from the airport and drop you off again at the end of your tour, to keep you feeling extra safe and relaxed.

If we arrive at an attraction and it is too busy and you don’t feel comfortable, please tell your Driver. We won’t expect you to visit the attraction. Our Drivers are very knowledgeable about the areas we tour in, so we can usually find something else to do nearby.

Our accommodation is carefully hand-picked by our team and we generally use smaller hotels or guest houses. In the unlikely instance you have a concern about the accommodation such as cleanliness or feeling uncomfortable in any other way, please tell your Driver who will speak to the hotel management team.

Read our full Travel with Confidence guide here. 

A Scottish Vacation in 2022/23!

We are so excited to meet you and take you on a tour of bonnie Scotland. We have a busy couple of years ahead, so if you haven’t booked your tour yet, what’s stopping you? We can’t wait to welcome you to Scotland.

Neilly, tour of Scotland
Neilly showing our guests the sights

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